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Brownie Won't Poop In The Litter - At Home

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by dkperez, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. dkperez

    dkperez Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    105
    13
    Jun 9, 2008
    Northfield, MN
    Brownie is an 11-year-old tabby we rescued 10 years ago. I started a topic several years ago about this problem, but figured it might be worth exploring again.....

    Originally she went int he litter just fine. For several years. Then, she apparently got mega-colon, and was treated for it. She takes Cisapride daily. Her stool is "normal" - not hard, not runny - normal. Prior to the Cisapride she had problems defecating. BUT, it appears that the experience has left her with some mental thing about defecating in the litter - AT HOME.

    She urinates in the litterbox. No problem. But, she defecates right in FRONT of the litterbox. Will NOT go IN the litterbox. AT HOME....... We also have an RV and she travels with us. In the RV, she ABSOLUTELY goes in the litterbox. It's EXACTLY the same litterbox. It has EXACTLY the same litter. She gets EXACTLY the same food both places... There's NO difference EXCEPT whatever mental issue it is that she has.

    We have MOVED the litter box at home. We have ADDED litterboxes at home. We have changed LITTER in different boxes, trying at least 5 or 6 different litters. We have CONFINED her overnight, when she typically goes. If confined in a crate, she'll go in the litter. Once not confined she goes in front of the litterbox. She has several litter boxes at home, but she uses the one in the kitchen.

    If I recall correctly, we tried putting newspaper in front of the litter, but she went off the paper. We tried every idea we could think of, but were never able to get her to go in the litter.

    SO, we bought a bunch of inexpensive rag rugs, and put one in front of the litter box. She goes on that, we dump it in the litter, throw the rug in the laundry and put down a clean one. So, it's a minor annoyance, but not a HUGE thing...

    So, why try to fix the problem? We had two cats. Our other cat, Skyy, was a wonderful companion, and they got along perfectly from day 1 - we got them both, together, from the same shelter and they never had a problem.

    Skyy developed cancer and was euthanized two weeks ago. Though Brownie is a wonderful cat, we both miss having a flaky, energetic cat in the house and would like to introduce a couple kittens if Brownie will accept them. We'd have to go through the introduction process, which I'll also need some help with, BUT we won't bring in another cat unless we can get Brownie to use the litterbox because how would a kitten (or kittens) understand that pooping outside the litter wasn't acceptable with Brownie is doing that? SO, we'd like to get her back to using the litter at home. Worst case, we'll continue as we are and not bring in any cats while Brownie is with us. SO, SOMEBODY give me some ideas of procedures or products or SOMETHING that will get her to poop in the litter at home the way she does in the RV, and then hopefully y'all can help us bring in a couple other cats that need a home to join her.

    OR, alternatively, if this is a terrible idea and we should just let it go while we have Brownie, tell me that... I'm figuring there's a huge amount of knowledge in here so hopefully we'll get some ideas.
     

  2. mani

    mani fervent feline fan Staff Member Moderator

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Australia
    This is interesting.. I wonder whether a kitten would follow suit and poo outside the box?
    I'm not so sure. It will be interesting to hear what others think, especially someone with experience of inappropriate pooing and kittens. :)
     

  3. amysuen

    amysuen TCS Member Alpha Cat

    642
    401
    Mar 17, 2017
    Appleton, WI
    My mom's cat, Freddie, has never pooped in the litter box. They put newspaper out for her and she goes on that, then they throw it away. My mom got Charlie after Freddie's big sister, Sammy, died. I think Charlie was barely a year old when they got him, and he's always used the litter box. My guess is that if the kitten is litter trained when you get him/her you probably won't have a problem.
     
    mani purraised this.

  4. dkperez

    dkperez Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    105
    13
    Jun 9, 2008
    Northfield, MN
    OK, so giving a home to a kitten or two (we usually get cats in multiples so they have someone to play with, heckle, and cuddle with for sleeping) isn't necessarily a bad idea - at least in terms of litter...

    Am I correct in my understanding that kittens (we'd probably get two females that would either have been, or would be, spayed) would be more acceptable to Brownie than other adult cats?

    NOW, HOW do we convince Brownie to use the litterbox at home like she does in the RV? There HAS to be a process or technique or SOMETHING we can do, but it's eluded us so far!

    I hate to anthropomorphize but Brownie has been spending a lot of time laying on a pillow that Skyy used a lot. She never showed any interest in the pillow before, but since losing Skyy, she's been napping on there. Missing Skyy?
     

  5. mani

    mani fervent feline fan Staff Member Moderator

    28,981
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    Feb 28, 2012
    Australia
    Yes, kittens are a good idea, although they can be somewhat frisky for an older cat. It's really important to do the introductions properly.. we have a good article on that.

    As for the litterbox thing, have a read through this.. it's a comprehensive article on on things litterboxy, and may just have an answer.

    Yes, I think she's probably missing Skyy. :frown: It's sad for her, but it will get better. :)
     

  6. dkperez

    dkperez Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    105
    13
    Jun 9, 2008
    Northfield, MN
    The domestic associate was bored last weekend... And happened upon "My Cat from Hell"... And started watching episodes... After a few hours of cat's fighting, urinating all over the house, store, furniture, walls, and so on, along with spraying, marking, biting and all the other catastrophes portrayed on the show, she's absolutely POSITIVE that bringing in another cat is a sure prelude to absolute DISASTER!!!!
     

  7. susanm9006

    susanm9006 Willow Top Cat

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    Feb 20, 2011
    Fifty years of raising cats but still can't figure out some cats litterbox issues. Have you tried moving her poop into her litterbox? Have you tried two side by side litterboxes in case she will pee in one and poop the other? Do you have a the largest box available? Perhaps there is something in the way the RV box is positioned vs her house litterbox that causes her to poop over the side on the house box but not the RV?

    Another cat might or might not mimic her poop habits. It is also possible that your new cat could demonstrate litterbox habits that your current cat might adopt.
     

  8. dkperez

    dkperez Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    105
    13
    Jun 9, 2008
    Northfield, MN
    I read through the information about avoidance...

    It's not spraying - she urinates in the litter box fine.
    She's been to the vet regularly, and other than the mega-colon, for which she's taken Cisapride for years, she's healthy.
    In terms of the litterbox, she has THREE. One upstairs that neither cat ever used. One in my office, which Brownie uses occasionally to urinate but never poops in. And one in the kitchen that's at the opposite end of the kitchen from the food and water. And it's private since it's in an alcove of the counter. And it's also been there for years. We ALSO had one in the laundry room that's next to the kitchen, and she would go right in front it it, too. SO, over several weeks, we moved it to the kitchen (moved it a couple inches every several days. Eventually the two boxes were next to one another. None of it made any difference since she just went in front of whichever box she was using.
    Its quiet where the box is - it's in an area where we don't eat or cook. And, as I said, she routinely urinates in the box.
    The box is cleaned twice a day.
    We even tried switching from the Tidy Cat we used for years to Slide so her urination wouldn't stick to the box so much. Didn't matter.
    She's not showing any of the signs of stress in the article that was referenced. In fact, she's about the most laid back cat we've ever had...

    SO, I"m back to here, which is the final thing in the referenced articles... SO, I need some way to fix this... 'Cause I believe she's looking for Skyy (the cat we lost several weeks ago now when she walks around the house meowing) but between this and my wife's exposure to "My Cat From Hell", we can't imagine bringing in kittens until we're sure everyone at least WANTS to go in the litter...

    BUT, again, when we travel in the RV, she ABSOLUTELY, consistently uses the litter box. And she NEVER poops in or outside the box in the office. She occasionally urinates in there but never poops. She NORMALLY urinates in the box in the kitchen and poops in front of it..... AND to make sure we keep things extremely clean, we use small, washable rugs in front of the box. She consistently goes on those, which then get thrown in the wash and cleaned in hot water.

    Her stool isn't hard. (over the years, we've learned a lot more about cat poop and we ever wanted). As far as I can tell from the rare occasions when we've seen her go to the bathroom, she isn't straining.

    So we try something different like Feline Pine or something to see if a totally different litter will make a difference? Put a second, small litter pan in FRONT of the "regular" one to see if she'll go in the second pan? Other ideas?
     

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